Last fall I bought 2x400gb 7200.10 SATA barracudas, one for myself and one for a computer I was building a friend. When I turned on the machine for the *very first time* with one drive in it, removed from its packaging only five minutes earlier, I found myself locked out of the drive for lack of a master or user password. I figured it was something simple I'd figure out later and just swapped the drive I bought myself in and everything worked fine.
Unfortunately, I later learned: 1) Seagate claims that the only way to security lock out a drive is for the user or third party software to have caused it and thus does not cover it in their warranty. 2) Despite this claim, MHDD returned a code indicating that the master password on the drive *had not been changed from its factory default setting* 3) In further contradiction, upon looking up the factory default master password for the drive, it was rejected. I proceeded to try every variation on that password I could think of, as well as seagate factory passwords for several other drives. Nothing worked.
After much research I found that there does exist a tool to remove this lock for the 7200.9 series, and figured I'd shelve the drive for a while and come back to it. Here I am, though, 7 months later, and still just as stuck.
Does this make any sense to anyone? I'm quite positive on all points, the drive is reporting that it retains its factory default password, and I'm quite certain I entered that password, and yes I entered it with spaces to fill 32 characters, and without, in all caps, in no caps, with the S capitalized only, and everything else I could think of.
If anyone can shed some light on this paradox, I'd greatly appreciate it.
Have you tried a program like HDAT2? http://www.hdat2.com/
Also you might check out hddguru.com's forums for some info on unlocking ata passwords. I believe this typically requires a device called a "pc3000", that is what I gather anyway. Might be worth it to try hdat2 and if that doesn't work maybe look into the pc3000. I can't seem to find any information on where to get one though.
I have the same problem with a Maxtor STM3500 drive that I bought back in December. Had a power outtage due to a nearby thunderstorm. When the computer came back up, the drive was reformatted to RAW. Checked it out in DOS using a third-party program and found that an ATA level password had been "placed" on the drive.
Seagate is ABSOLUTELY no help in these types of situations, and i've vowed that I will never again own another Seagate or Maxtor drive. Did a little blog about it at http://www.smmrailphotos.net/blog
"the other option is that the drive is defective. it probably is. replace it"
I've already replaced the drive with a Western Digital Caviar 500GB drive. The question is, what to do with the old drive? I'm not going to return it because Seagate won't give me my money back, and it will be a cold day in Sheol before I install ANOTHER Seagate/Crapstore drive. The way I figure it, i've got two options. One, disassemble the drive and give the platters to my wife to use as make-up mirrors. Two, take the drive out in the back yard with a video-camera running, shoot the drive with a .45 or larger caliber weapon, and post the video to U-Tube to thumb my nose at and cheese-off Seagate.
Actually though, I understand that this is not just a problem with Seagate. The ATA spec that allows these drives to be locked at BIOS level is the real problem. The need for security is present, but geesh this is taking things just a bit to far!
I have had the same problem with two Seagate Barracuda drives. MHDD gives me the message, locked with ata password. I am starting to wonder if this third party software could be a virus or some kind of malware. It would be an excellent opportunity for virusmaker to make use of this feature in modern harddisks. I wonder why this lock-feature is implemented in the drives. I see no useful reason to make every standard harddrive lockable. Lockable drives should be marked and sold as high-security disks and priced in line with this. Let the customer make the choice.